Flushable Wipes May Not Be Flushable

By on

If it didn’t come out of you or off a roll of toilet paper, don’t flush it.

That’s the advice of public works managers, who are tired of disposable wipes clogging sewer lines and equipment, USA Today says. Companies such as Cottonelle and Charmin (plus a host of generic brands) have bathroom wipe products that many people flush without a thought, and it’s causing trouble.

“Consumers are being told by the packaging that these things are flushable,” Cynthia Finley, a director of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, told the paper. But many don’t dissolve very well.

A Consumer Reports test of several “flushable” wipes found they didn’t break down after half an hour, the paper says. Toilet paper disintegrates in just 8 seconds.

And those are just the ones that are labeled as flushable. People don’t always look for that designation, and it’s not always there — many flush any kind of wipe, including baby wipes and hard-surface wipes that aren’t meant to swirl around the bowl. It all contributes to expensive-to-fix clogging.

USA Today mentioned several cities struggling with the issue, including these:

  • The city of Sauk Centre, Minn. had to hire someone to vacuum out a truckload of cloth material this spring.
  • In Raleigh, N.C., the most common sources of sewer overflows and backups are rags.
  • Boise, Idaho took “minor enforcement action” against a medical clinic that seemed to be flushing “towel-like” material.

Besides the risk of your own clogged pipes and plumbing bills, wipes can push up maintenance and repair costs for cities. That could potentially be passed on to you in the form of fewer services or higher taxes.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,332 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • http://twitter.com/bidetsprayerman David Stanley

    Another good reason to get a Hand Bidet Sprayer = save on toilet paper, don’t need disposable wipes
    = save money and the environment while enjoying superior hygiene! See http://www.bathroomsprayers.com.